Well here we are 10 games into Votto’s stint on the DL. Most expected the race to tighten and the Cincinnati Reds to slip out of first place in the division without their superstar first baseman.
Yet somehow, defying all logic, without Votto Cincinnati is 8-2, and has increased their lead in the division by 2 games. It is a huge surprise to most of the people around baseball, losing an MVP candidate would cripple most teams.
But this year’s Cincinnati Reds aren’t most teams. They have shown that the talent in Cincinnati runs deep, and won’t be slowed by injuries. With Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and Zack Cozart filling in, the bats haven’t slowed a bit. In fact they are scoring almost 1 run more per game then there season average.
As impressive as these players have been though, they were expected to do this. They are the names on the roster most hoped would step up when Votto went down. The Reds still needed another player to come in and outplay expectations for Cincinnati to keep up this season’s success.
For both of the past two nights Drew Stubs has had 2 RBIs in the 9th inning. This production has been invaluable for a team that is struggling to remain in first with the surging Pirates and Cardinals. Stubbs isn’t going to scare anyone heading into a game, but the ability to score from anywhere in the Red’s lineup is something teams need to watch out for.
Can he keep it up long run? No, but it is great to see that the Reds can still thrive. This stretch is vital to their growth as a team, with more pressure on certain players it is a maturing period for Cincinnati.
This injury could awaken an unknown talent in a player that could prove the difference for the team. It is still a long way to the World Series, but in the long run this time without Votto may be good for the Red’s.
Sure it will be great having their best player back, but Cincinnati has proved they are a complete team. Still three weeks out from Votto’s return, and the Reds are looking better then ever.